Tiger King ZOO to be closed – but it will become a film set

The big cat zoo made famous by the hit Netflix documentary series Tiger King has closed its doors to the general public.

Wynnewood Exotic Animal Park in Oklahoma had previously been owned by the star of the show, Joseph Maldonado-Passage – also called Joe Exotic – who’s serving a 22-year jail sentence for his role in a murder-for-hire plot.

The existing owner, Jeff Lowe, made the announcement on the park’s Facebook hitting out at animal rights charity PETA who he says have made “false accusations” against him.

This year Earlier, the zoo was handed to Big Cat Rescue owner Carol Baskin after a judge ruled that Joe Exotic had fraudulently transferred ownership to his mother.

Current owner Jeff Lowe called the documentary a ‘phenomenon’. Pic: Netflix

He previously done this so that they can avoid paying a $1m civil judgment successfully brought against him by Baskin for trademark and copyright infringements.

The June ruling stipulated that the existing operators needed to be out in 120 days.

Baskin featured heavily in the Netflix documentary also, and a clear rivalry was established between your big cat zoo owners.

Joe Exotic happens to be in prison after being convicted of plotting to kill Baskin, who had tried to shut him down, and accused his zoo of abusing animals and selling big cat cubs.

In the documentary, he previously raised questions about Baskin’s former husband, Jack “Don” Lewis, repeatedly accusing her of killing her husband and perhaps feeding him to her tigers.

Baskin is not charged with any crime and has repeatedly released statements refuting the accusations manufactured in the series.

Carole Baskin in Tiger King. Pic: Netflix

Big Cat Rescue owner Carole Baskin had been granted ownership. Pic: Netflix

In his statement, Mr Lowe called Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness a “phenomenon” which he said “has taken us more attention than any human deserves, bad and the good”.

He continued: “It has, and will probably continue steadily to make us a target of each animal and nutjob rights loon in the world, but we are ready.”

He said the zoo had “also provided us with an unfathomable income source”, going to confirm that “currently, we have made a decision to close the old zoo effective immediately”.

Mr Lowe said he previously returned his Animal Welfare licence to america Department of Agriculture, although he continued to state the agency had since suspended his registration.

Unlike in the united kingdom, exotic animal ownership is legal in a few continuing states in the us. In Oklahoma, it really is legal to possess wildlife as as a licence has been obtained long.

Baskin's Big Cat Rescue was granted control of Exotic's zoo in June. Pic: Netflix

Joe Exotic is serving 22 years in jail for plotting murder. Pic: Netflix

Mr Lowe said the animals in the park – largely from the big cat family – will still be cared for.

The post also revealed that the zoo would now serve a special function: “Our new park will, at least for the near future, be considered a private film set for Tiger King-related tv content for cable and streaming services.”

While a second group of Tiger King is rumoured to be on the cards for Netflix, the success of the show has spawned a bunch of spin-off programmes also.

One confirmed eight-part series will feature Oscar-winning actor Nicholas Cage in the role of Joe Exotic – an unlikely casting that suggests a Television show which will be impossible to look from.

Earlier this month, it had been revealed that Baskin was facing a lawsuit from the grouped category of her ex-husband, Don Lewis, who went missing in 1997.

A $100,000 (£76,000) reward has been offered for information to greatly help discover what happened to him. He was declared dead in 2002 legally.

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